HOLDEN: Chiefs will send the house; Will Manning survive?
Manning is led off the field in San Diego after aggravating an ankle injury in a 28-20 win over the San Diego Chargers on Nov. 10, 2013.
DENVER — Hey there, Kansas City Fan. Getting sick of the stream of self-assuredness coming out of Denver this week? Here’s a five-step process that might help you cope…
- Ask Denver Fan why the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs have no chance at defeating the 8-1 Broncos.
- Listen to Denver Fan’s two word response: Peyton Manning.
- Ask Denver Fan what would happen if the Chiefs, who own the NFL’s best pass rush, knocked Manning, who owns a couple of sprained ankles, a bad neck, a backup tackle on his blind side and is on pace to be sacked more times this year than in any other during his 15-year career, out of the game.
- Patiently wait for Denver Fan’s response.
- Revel in Denver Fan’s conviction level, which will begin to wobble like one of the 37-year-old quarterback’s spirals.
Yes World, it’s true: Peyton Manning is All-World. But here’s another worldly-truth: There’s no such thing as a sure thing. Especially when that thing is Manning, who’s looked as good as ever and more vulnerable than ever this season.
As if watching him wince on the field wasn’t enough, take a gander at one of the comments Manning made after a rare missed practice this week. When asked what the Broncos could do to limit the amount of hits he’s taken in the past four games, he responded, “I’m all for some suggestions if you’ve got any.”
Here’s the suggestion Denver Fan seems to be offering: Stop worrying.
Five of the Chiefs nine wins this season have come against teams that were starting backup quarterbacks or worse. As long as we have the best quarterback in the league, the Broncos will be fine.
So what would happen if, for some inexplicable reason, the Broncos lost the best quarterback in the league? How do you think the Chiefs defense would fare against the Broncos backup, Brock Osweiler — you know, the guy who has more tattoos than attempted NFL passes?
Just ask Curtis Painter, Manning’s old backup in Indianapolis — the guy whose hair was longer than his NFL career.
Here’s the thing: If the Broncos were to lose Manning, it wouldn’t be all that inexplicable. Quite the opposite, in all likelihood. You’d probably be able to chalk it up to Tamba Hali or Justin Houston, both of whom are among the five best sack artists in the NFL. You might also be able to attribute a potential Manning injury to one of the nine other Chiefs who have logged a sack this season.
And here’s the other thing: The idea of going after Manning isn’t all that original. And it isn’t unproven, either.
Four games ago, the 1-8 Jacksonville Jaguars, who own the worst scoring defense in the NFL, gave the Broncos quite a scare by attacking Manning. Not only did it allow the Jaguars to pull within two points in the third quarter, it caused the two ankle injuries Manning has been battling for the past five weeks.
So is it crazy to think that the Chiefs, who own the best scoring defense in the NFL, couldn’t finish what the Jaguars’ started?
It certainly doesn’t seem so.
But don’t fret, Denver Fan. In the event that the Broncos have to turn to Osweiler, here’s a simple coping mechanism for you too…
- Pray that this is the week the Chief’s luck against backup quarterbacks finally runs out.